Giant Bomb Review

31 Comments

Crash Commando Review

4
  • PS3N

Crash Commando takes the conventions of the modern first-person shooter and puts them into a side-scrolling game, resulting in a fast-moving shooter that successfully merges old and new.

Control or capture points are helpfully marked with letters.
Crash Commando is multiplayer shooter that breaks from the standard first-person or behind-the-back camera conventions and takes things back to 2D as a side-scroller. It's hard to call it innovative, since it's essentially a better-looking take on a relatively obscure independent PC game called Soldat, but you certainly won't find much else like it on the PlayStation 3. Crash Commando is fast, frantic fun with enough maps and modes to keep the action feeling fresh for a good amount of time.

In Crash Commando, you play as a tiny dude with a jet pack, so you can jump as well as boost around the game's levels. The jet pack has a limited amount of fuel, but quickly recharges when not in use. This means you can't just hover forever, but you won't have to constantly keep tabs on a fuel gauge, either. Prior to spawning, you choose which weapons you'd like to have. The arsenal has a number of primary weapons, including a standard assault rifle, a shotgun, a sniper rifle, a rocket launcher, and so on. You can also choose between a pistol or a knife as a secondary attack, as well as picking grenades, C4, or mines as an explosive weapon. Fire control is handled via the right analog stick. You can aim in all directions and fire with the R2 button while moving around with the left stick. The control feels nice and tight.

You'll apply these basic mechanics, along with the ability to hop in a couple of vehicles, across eight maps in a few different modes. Obviously, you've got standard deathmatch and two-team deathmatch options. There's also an objective-based mode that has you defending or capturing specific points. Up to 12 players can play in a single game, and online, some of those slots can be filled by bots if you don't have enough humans. You can also create offline games with bots, but overall, the AI guys aren't too bright, and can only be used in deathmatch or team deathmatch games. You're better off finding real people.

Vehicles give you a layer of armor, but it's nothing a few well-placed shots can't fix.
Online is where the game really starts to take shape. The action is fast and, despite the game's classic 2D looks, there's certainly some strategy involved. That's mostly thanks to the map design, which gives you plenty of ways to get to a specific location, forcing a defending enemy to consider all of the breach points and giving attackers a good reason to come at things from different angles, and with different weapons. The game also gives players good reasons to stay alive, as you can earn up to three bonuses--like recharging health, for example--for surviving and taking out enemies.

While Crash Commando features little characters, the graphics manage to be lush and expressive. You'll fight through various indoor areas, as well as out in jungles or ruins, and so on. Also, when the little guys get killed, they pop into a mess of bloody pixels that constantly satisfies. The gun fire sounds appropriately meaty and the music is the standard sort of military stuff that you'd expect to hear. Overall, it presents itself well.

Aside from inadequate bots and the resulting lackluster solo play, it's hard to go wrong with Crash Commando. It's a great merging of modern shooter concepts with classic movement styles and camera perspectives that I found to be both engaging and fun... even if the whole thing sort of just made me want to reinstall Soldat on my PC.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
31 Comments
Edited by SBYM

Reviewing PSN games? You're really living it up this New Years, aren't ya? Bad-ass!(?)

And yes, I do realize the irony of my post.

Posted by Snail

I'm thinking of getting this one.

Online
Posted by RolexDPracer

I keep going back and forth on this one.

Posted by RHCPfan24

Cool. I just heard of this game over the last few days. Might get it now that I have a PS3.

Posted by imayellowfellow

damn that sounds sick

Posted by TestamentUK

This game really is great fun online. If I were to review it I'd probably give it five stars...

...except for the fact that I seem to be one of a number of people who basically cannot play this game online, meaning I'm left with the not-so-great-fun single player. 95-99% of the time trying to connect to online games gives 'COMMUNICATION ERROR', despite the fact that I've never had trouble with any other online game. I've jumped through all the suggested hoops (NAT type, using DMZ etc.) but it's still broken, and there seems to be other people with the exact same problem.

From what I've read the majority of people can play online just fine, but if not you get a tease of the online play and then the frustration of errors.

Posted by Deusoma

So it's basically Playstation Undertow? Thanks for the warning, Jeff.

Posted by Kontrapunkt

Woah, its like Soldat except beefed for the PS3 i could get into that. If only i could afford a PS3.

Posted by Kore22

If its anything like Soldat, I am sold!

Posted by bludst0ne

Well at least PSN is making an effort to be competitive with XBLA. But as novel as Soldat was I don't know that a spiritual successor to it will be able to compete with items already out on Live. Ah well, there may yet be hope for PSN folks beyond just rereleasing SotN for some actual new content.

Posted by TouchMyBox

Whoa Bludst0ne, it's new years so I won't hold you accountable for the things you say considering that you're more than likely smashed (or incredibly hung-over). But you seriously think that PSN is struggling in delivering  quality downloadable games? Have you ever been in contact with a playstation 3?

Edited by Krakn3Dfx

My only problem with this game is that I have to suffer through half a dozen connection failures trying to connect to servers before I find one I can get on.

I would say it was an issue on my end, except no other online game on my PS3 suffers from this issue.  Otherwise, it's an awesome game, well worth the $10.  When I actually get connected a server, it's always a fun time to be had.

Posted by F1

If Jeff thinks it's good, then I'll get it.

Posted by Jensonb

Deusoma: My thoughts exactly!

Posted by kcwsk8

This is my next must download game from PSN. I was choosing the other day between this and Super Stardust HD.

Posted by Kohe321

I'm getting this

Nice review as usual Jeff! :)

Posted by inferno1321

this is such a fun game. been playing it for weeks now. hasn't gotten old.

Posted by Duckbutter

holy shit a PSN game review on Giantbomb! this game is only 10 duckets and lasts longer than a dime bag or a McDonalds meal.

Posted by ScottEFresh

I knew Jeff wouldn't be able to resist CrashCommandos...once I'm done Fallout 3 this game is getting some serious time!

Posted by TheIneffableBob

Soldat is the best.

Posted by shadows_kill

i have this game and its definatly a 4/5 star game. worth the 10 bucks

Posted by Darth_Kupi

Jeff,  you should really mention in the review that Soldat is free.

That way more people will check it out, cuz that game needs love.

Not many games have give me so many hours of entertainment, without charging a single dime.

Posted by Media_Master

Sounds good

Posted by Sunjammer

Soldat is totally amazing. You should do a proper review of it. For no reason.

Posted by EleFlameMax

What'll it cost me, the shiznit in question?

Posted by ProfessorZombie

I almost got this game 4 times. I will soon. Looks fun

Edited by Batou2034
Posted by coonce

hell yeah -- i remember getting messed up in demo! downloading this game today!

Posted by slowpantz

I might pick this up.

Posted by WorkingTavo

can i get this game to play it on my PSP???
and if i can how????

Posted by SteadyingMeat

Weird, on the latest Unprofessional Fridays, this game had a 2/5 score.